Continuation of Veronic Carayol’s testimony under cross examination

By Mamadou Dem
Veronic Carayol, the erstwhile Deputy Commissioner of Enforcement atVeronic Carayol
Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), on Wednesday, 15 April, gave evidence under cross examination and refuted the prosecution’s allegation that she is not a truthful witness.Ms. Carayol was testifying before Magistrate Fatou Darboe of the
Banjul Magiostrates’ Court.

Below is the continuation of the testimony she gave on that day:

When asked by police prosecutor Musa Camara whether as deputy
Commissioner of Enforcement her job description entails recovery of
debts, she responded in the positive.

Ms. Carayol further told the court that it was the duty of the
Commissioner of Customs to notify the enforcement unit on the
outstanding monies which, she said, was confirmed and endorsed by Pw6,
Omar Bangura.

“Does that mean that you were not notified on the outstanding balance
owed to GRA?,” quizzed the prosecutor. “There has never been any
official notification to me,” testified the witness.

“So how did you become aware of this alleged outstanding balance?”
“I checked through the computer system,” Ms. Carayol replied.

Counsel said, “So in effect no notification was made to you, is that correct?”
“I have never ever received any notification and as head of the unit,
I was supposed to be notified,” she added.
The witness said “I was never a busy body. I was doing my job.”

Ms. Carayol further told the court that she acted on the memo given to
her by her immediate line manager, Mr. Yankuba Darboe, for collection
of monies and which she listed. She added that some clearing agents
paid monies which are in government coffers.

She said other people started paying when they discovered that
receipts given to them were false, adding that it is correct that she
collected a memo with regards to the outstanding balance owed to
government. She said this statement was confirmed by one Abdou M.C.
Jallow while at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

“Would you agree with me that Mr. Bangura, Pw6, gave evidence before
this court and never stated anything like that?” asked ASP Camara. The
witness replied that Pw6 was never asked such, adding that such
information was not found in the exhibits as it was not looked for.

The accused, who is the first defence witness, refuted the claim by the
prosecution that her entire evidence in-chief is a bare denial
and full of calculated evidence.

At this juncture, the matter was adjourned to 21st of this month for
the defence attorney, Hawa Sisay Sabally, to inform the court whether
she should re-examine the witness or not.

Readers would recall that Ms. Carayol is standing trial on four counts
namely on abuse of office, giving false information to a public servant,
unlawful publication and corrupt practices.

She denies all the charges preferred against her.